Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy have used the last three drafts and two summers to turn a once dismal prospect pool into an underrated one. The key to continued success in the NHL is to have good depth and cheap replacements: two things a strong pipeline provides. Before the duo took over the front office, the team depth had been hurt by immediate graduation of top picks and lack of success in the later rounds in addition to free agency duds.
Defense wins championships and that is what Patrick Roy returned to Denver to accomplish. Despite his team taking a step back in his sophomore season behind an NHL bench, Roy is confident the lessons learned will only help the team going forward. In addition to his role as head coach, Roy holds a second title as Vice President of Hockey Operations, giving him a voice in all player personnel decisions. The new philosophy as to how the team will be constructed both now and in the future is trending towards an emphasis on size, character, and skills. Roy has also shown he is open to drafting and signing free agents from Europe’s top leagues, something that occurred less frequently in the years prior to his return.
The 2014-15 NCAA hockey season has featured a number of excellent forward prospects, especially among the underclassmen.
This year’s ranking of NHL-drafted forwards competing in D1 hockey features 11 players (two are tied for 10th) representing nine NCAA programs and nine NHL teams. Among the NCAA teams, Miami and Michigan each have two players in the top 10, while the Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks are tops among NHL teams with each club having two prospects on this year’s list. Read more»